It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, and many people have asked how I’m doing. In general I haven’t posted any updates because nothing much has changed. But as someone told me, even that information is an update. So here is the latest about my cancer treatment and what’s coming next.
I have been on chemotherapy since December, taking it every month. Every two months I get an MRI to see how the tumor is doing. My last MRI was this past Monday, May 23rd. That MRI looked the same as the March and January ones. The tumor is stable, and not growing. We’d prefer to see it shrinking, but not growing is better than growing. An MRI can’t differentiate between living and dead tumor cells, so we don’t know how much of the tumor is dead, and there’s no way to know.
This week I am doing my seventh round of chemo, and I will do my eighth in June. My next MRI will come in July. If the tumor starts to grow, we will immediately start radiation. If the tumor is stable, I have a few options, but I’ll just share the most likely scenario.
The most likely scenario is that if the tumor is still stable in July, I will take a break from chemo and not start radiation. We’ll probably avoid radiation because of the size (big) and location (temporal lobe) of my tumor. The temporal lobe is involved in memory, language, emotion, processing audio/visual input…lots of important stuff. The amount of radiation required to treat my tumor will almost certainly damage my temporal lobe and result in significant impairment of some kind. So we want to avoid that.
If July’s MRI is clean we will probably move to monitoring the tumor with every-two-month MRIs. When it starts to grow again (which is certain, barring a miracle), we will resume some kind of treatment. That treatment will depend on how long the tumor was stable. It could start growing in a couple months, or it could take years (possibly as many as 10) for it to start growing again. It would be great if in the interim some new treatments become available, because as of now they are limited to chemo and radiation, and existing chemo has taken its best shot, while existing radiation will probably have the effects listed above.
That’s all there is to report. Thank you so much to the many of you who are so faithfully praying for me and caring for my family. This would be a completely different journey without the love of God being shown to us through you.